Gut Bacteria swap is alternative to Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric-SurgeryA bacterial cocktail could soon offer a knifeless alternative to gastric bypass surgery.

The gastric bypass limits a person’s food intake by, in effect, reducing the size of the stomach – often to the size of a walnut. The procedure is an effective treatment for obesity and associated diseases such as type 2 diabetes, and typically leads to a loss in excess body weight of between 65 and 75 per cent. However, it carries a high mortality risk, especially in severely obese individuals.

Lee Kaplan at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and colleagues may have discovered an alternative to surgery. The team performed a gastric bypass on mice and then fed microbes from their lower intestine to other healthy mice. The mice fed the bacterial cocktail lost five per cent of their body weight in two weeks, compared with mice on the same diet who had not been fed the bacteria. Continue reading Gut Bacteria swap is alternative to Gastric Bypass Surgery

Most GP’s have given a Patient a Placebo Drug

PlaceboMost family doctors have given a placebo to at least one of their patients, survey findings suggest.

In a poll, 97% of 783 GPs admitted that they had recommended a sugar pill or a treatment with no established efficacy for the ailment their patient came in with.

The PLOS One study authors say this may not be a bad thing – doctors are doing it to help, not to deceive patients.

The Royal College of GPs says there is a place for placebos in medicine. Continue reading Most GP’s have given a Patient a Placebo Drug

Salt linked to “Immune Rebellion”

SaltThe amount of salt in our diet could be involved in driving our own immune systems to rebel against us, leading to diseases such as multiple sclerosis, early laboratory findings suggest.

Several teams of scientists have simultaneously published data in the journal Nature suggesting a link.

Salt may activate a part of the immune system which can target the body.

Experts said the findings were very interesting and plausible, but were not a cure for people with MS.

The body’s defence against infection can go horrible awry, turning on the body and leading to autoimmune diseases including Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Continue reading Salt linked to “Immune Rebellion”